Oxenfree: A Musicologist’s View

Oxenfree: Vocality

New to Oxenfree only recently, the game was completed in roughly 3-4 hours in one play through, being surprisingly captivating and enjoyable. One of the biggest reason for this was the voice acting. Not one character was uninteresting or unrealistic, overlooking that the avatars are small enough that any miss-representation of vocal type to face and body build would go unnoticed. Unfortunately, little attention was paid to the background soundtrack by myself, I can hardly remember anything other than the music that is created from the magnetophones the protagonist plays, which creates a cue that has some significance to the plot structure; most likely this is a sign of a good environmental soundtrack and sound design.

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The game gives you a choice of speech answers to questions and situations, each of them quite different and later affects what each of the other characters think of you. However, unlike some games, the answers are not unimaginative and straightforward and expand on the few word answers which you chose, stopping the player from hearing something that they have already read in their head. Oxenfree is unique in this way, as each answer is tailored to the character and fits the personality of a teenage girl (the protagonist) without sounding too disconnected with the game world. It could be argued it is that which puts the player in touch with the avatar and other characters, allowing for a sense of belonging and shared emotion between the game world and the player; thus this creates flow in the world and allows a player to become immersed in the environment.

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